Pregnancy Prep: Having a Baby Without Blowing Your Budget

Pregnancy Prep: Having a Baby Without Blowing Your Budget

Guest blogger:Emily Graham

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The cost of having a baby with or without insurance varies drastically from state to state and from hospital to hospital. But the day the baby is born is just the beginning of the bills. According to NerdWallet, 54 percent of prospective parents believe expenses for their baby’s first year of life will total $5,000 or less, while the USDA indicates the average amount is actually closer to $13,000. However, just because many families spend that much on their baby doesn’t mean you need to blow your entire budget and go into debt.

 

Start Saving Early

If possible, start saving for your baby well in advance of getting pregnant. Even if you don't start saving until the little one is on their way, you can put aside even a small amount of money each month to save for the baby. You might think you don’t have any room to spare in your budget. However, you should take another look. Go through your monthly expenditures line by line to find places to save, including reducing cable TV or internet packages, canceling subscriptions and memberships you don't use, and eliminating unnecessary expenditures like eating out.

 

Lower Your Expectations About Baby Products

Despite all the marketing for amazing nursery furniture and pricey baby products, newborn babies actually need very little. You can skip the changing table, bouncer, rocker, and even the stroller. You don't need fluffy crib bedding and bumpers, which, according to the National Institutes of Health, are actually dangerous for your little one. You can basically get away with just blankets, car seat, crib, diapers, onesies, wipes, a couple of soft toys, and of course, anything you need for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

 

Shop Smart for the Baby and Yourself

Even if you don’t think you’ll have a baby shower (and you should make sure someone throws one for you!), make a baby registry on Amazon or other site in case anyone asks what you need. This will allow you to accumulate some of those much-needed baby essentials. And though you generally shouldn't buya used car seat or crib, baby and maternity clothes, as well as other baby items, can be purchased used. You can probably even find moms in your local area donating or swapping baby clothes and products.

 

Tone Down the Gender Reveal

These days, gender reveals are over-the-top. We understand the excitement about announcing the baby's gender, but it doesn't need to be an elaborate or expensive production. Instead, do a simple yet cute social media photo op. For example, you can snap a picture with shoes lined up for each person in your family with a new pair of baby girl or boy shoes at the end of the line. Or, as Kindred Bravely notes, take a photo of your older child(ren) wearing a T-shirt reading, "It’s a Girl” or "It’s a Boy." Another simple idea is just getting a store-bought pinata and loading it with pink or blue candy or trinkets, then posting a video of the parents bursting it. You can do something creative and cute for the gender reveal without spending much money at all.

Ask for Help

If you need assistance, all you need to do is ask! You may have friends who are willing to give or loan baby items to you. You also may be able to get baby formula, infant cereal, and other items through WIC. Police stations, fire stations, charities, and other entities often have car seats available for parents in need. Additionally, Wikibuy notes that some manufacturers and retailers give away plenty of coupons and samples you might find useful.

 

Preparing for a baby can be an exciting time but stressful too, especially if you are on a tight budget. Remember that you don’t need to spend a fortune to raise a happy and healthy little one. Babies don’t need much more than food, shelter, care, and of course, your love.

 

Photo via Pixabay

Emily Graham is the creator of MightyMoms.net which offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms -- from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life.

Almost One

To my dearest Landon, 

After it rains a beautiful rainbow emerges, that rainbow is you. Did you know that when mommy and daddy look at you, we are reminded that God is faithful? Because we do. 

We are so grateful that you are here and can’t believe that a year ago you weren’t (not outside yet anyway..) You are such a sweet boy, and I’m not just saying that because you’re my sweet boy, you really are.

Everywhere we go we hear   “look at that smile, he has such a beautiful smile”.

 

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It brings light to any room and from the days that it was gummy to now that it’s filled with 7 teeth, it’s my favorite smile. But back to the teeth, I can’t believe they have emerged and so quickly too..you rarely eat real food with them though, your favorite treats are paper, cardboard, tissue and anything else that you aren’t supposed to put in your mouth. 

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Its so much harder to catch you now because you are walking ! What started off as a few steps here and there became daily trips around the house on foot, I hope you never lose your sense of determination. With each missed step you always get up. I hope you continue that through out your life.  

 

You have such an amazing sense of wonder, I love to watch you explore, discover new things, new smells, new textures, new sounds and new faces. But when you discover something mommy and daddy don’t want you to explore, I pray our discipline and prayers will not be in vain. When you hear the word no I hope you understand it doesn’t mean we don’t love you, it means we love you enough to protect you.  

We will not spare your hands or little butt from what will correct you. But know that we will always be there to hold your hand, we love you so, so much! 

I could go on and on because you are just that special, but tears blur my vision so I will end here. 

I hope you have the happiest of birthdays tomorrow. 

-Love,

mum